Participate in Horizon 2020


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Step 2

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The current main Horizon 2020 work programme comprises an introduction, 18 thematic sections and thegeneral annexesdescribing general rules such as standard admissibility conditions and eligibility criteria, types of action, selection and award criteria, etc. Each thematic section is self-contained, and describes the overall objectives, the respective calls for proposals, and the topics within each call.

This Horizon 2020 work programme is complemented by the separate 2014 - 2015 work programmes for the European Research CouncilEuratom, the Joint Research Centre and the Strategic Innovation Agenda for the European Institute of Innovation and technology (EIT).


The Horizon 2020 program finances the following areas:


1. Excellent Science

Activities under this Pillar aim to reinforce and extend the excellence of the Union’s science base and to consolidate the European Research Area in order to make the Union’s research and innovation system more competitive on a global scale.

The Excellent Science pillar has main four specific objectives:

  1. The European Research Council (ERC) - budget is EUR 13 095 million;
  2. Future and emerging technologies – budget is EUR 2 696 million; 
  3. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – budget is EUR 6 162 million; 
  4. Research infrastructure – budget is EUR 2 488 million.

2. Industrial Leadership

This pillar aims to speed up development of the technologies and innovations that will underpin tomorrow's businesses and help innovative European SMEs to grow into world-leading companies.

It consists of three specific objectives:

  1. Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies– budget is EUR 13 557 million;
  2. Information and Communication Technologies;
  3. Space;
  4. Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and Biotechnology;
  5. Access to risk finance – budget is EUR 2 842 million;
  6. Innovation in SMEs budget is EUR 616 million.


3. Societal Challenges

Horizon 2020 reflects the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy and addresses major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere.

A challenge-based approach will bring together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities. This will cover activities from research to market with a new focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, and support for public procurement and market uptake. It will include establishing links with the activities of the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP).

Funding will focus on the following challenges:

  1. Health, demographic change and wellbeing budget is EUR 7 472 million;
  2. Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy – budget is EUR 3 851 million;
  3. Secure, clean and efficient energy – budget is EUR 5 931 million;
  4. Smart, green and integrated transport – budget is EUR 6 339 million;
  5. Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials – budget is EUR 6 339 million;
  6. Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies – budget is EUR 1 310 million;
  7. Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens budget is EUR 1 695 million.



Horizon 2020 also includes:

Based on the Horizon 2020 website